GREENE COUNTY NAVIGATION:
Daycare Expansion and Coworking Space
Downtown Jefferson has two exciting projects beyond a new Brewpub. The Day Care center is looking to expand, and in a separate location, a Coworking space has been a top desire in downtown. Jefferson’s proximity to the Des Moines metro has made it an attractive place for tele-commuters and those who work from home. This trend will grow once a shared space has been created so workers can get out of their living rooms and into a professional environment.
The current daycare center is planning to move forward with a capital project to expand their space. The Board is currently considering either expanding the existing facility, or building a new facility entirely. Though there are several locations to choose from to open their new space. the present location of the daycare is generally considered to be the best option.
Several other projects, many of which are recommended in this plan, will launch a capital campaign in the next 18 months. Therefore, in order to not compete, as well as to expose the campaign to new donors who may not be looking to fund a daycare center, merging with the other projects is a smart move.
The conclusion of this plan outlines how/why/who to merge with other capital components. The overall campaign is $4,600,000, of which $2,300,000 is reserved for the daycare center. That amount is not vetted, as it could be less; the number comes from the daycare board, which believes this is the highest amount they would need in order to build a new space or undergo complete renovation.
The need for expanded daycare in Jefferson was one of the first amenities identified as part of this visioning process. Based on interviews with companies and community members, quality daycare is preventing workforce development and general growth in Greene County.
The success of recent co-working spaces in other areas has led to a recommendations for one in Greene County. Several buildings present prime opportunities for redevelopment as a shared community space. Two key factors for such a space to thrive are visibility and accessibility.
Many people work in their homes or other remote locations, meaning they miss out on the natural connections that spring forth in a shared environment. As envisioned, this space will nurture these natural connections as well as an entrepreneurial spirit in the community, in turn enhancing the prospects for the creation of more businesses.
Additionally, there is potential to add housing on the second floor if a two-floor building is utilized. This would both maximize the return on the building investments and help address the shortage of housing options in the community.
Work to fit into larger capital plan for Greene County
Finalize real costs for new building, acquire land, and create concept for current building
Daycare Board and architects, engineers, and contractors
Work with professional services to price out construction sources and users. Identify and acquire land for new building. Work with school district to create high-level plan for repurposed housing units in current building.
Develop fundraising strategy and campaign launch with larger committee
Based on costs from architect and contractor, add on 50 percent of annual general operating costs and make asks for capital and on-going support. Spread support over 3- 5 years by working with local financial institution providing low-interest construction bridge loan backed by donors. Campaign should last 18 months. Raise ½ of campaign before full campaign is announced to community. Start construction when ¾ campaign pledges are reached. Work with larger Greene County plan for marketing and launch dates.